Hello everyone, and welcome to the Top 10 Albums of April 2022. In full transparency, this has been an incredibly hard month for me. Interviews got canceled by myself, some bands flat out ghosted me, The show has been up and down as far as making episodes, My weekly top 10 list has been getting ignored from social media, and as of this week, I had to quit Twitter for my own sanity. And none of that even goes into the suicidal depression that’s been plaguing me for 3 months now and I really feel no end in sight. All of that said, I was still able to find 10 albums I really dig from this month and want to share them with you. Some are released today (if you are reading this on April 29th) and some even came out on April 1st, truly covering the month from the beginning to the end. As usual, I will be posting my rules for how these monthly lists go, and then we will get onto 10 truly great albums of April 2022.
1.) These will be Original Studio ALBUMS. Not EPs, live albums, cover albums, rarities albums, lost albums, splits, collaboration efforts, etc. Simply Original Studio Albums from bands. Simply enough, right?
2.) These will be ALPHABETICAL ORDER. Not ranked. I don’t give away my secrets about what will be in the top 100 that easily. At least buy me a drink first!
3.) These reviews will be like my top 100 list where I give the band name, the album, and the FFO section; followed by a paragraph review. I could easily go track by track on every album, but then I will have given everything away. I want YOU to check any of these albums out and make up your own thoughts if you dig them or not. I’m just here to let you be aware these albums are out and for your listening pleasure.
4.) There is nothing sponsored here nor stolen content. Just my own thoughts. I have been given almost every album I review as a stream or promo and anything I missed I checked out on Spotify or Bandcamp after release.
5.) I will be covering more albums in audio form on my podcast every week there is a new show. There may be some crossover, other ones may just be in audio form. So check out both for the optimum experience.
6.) None of these albums are set in stone for the best of 2022. I may be high on them now, but that could change for a multitude of reasons (mainly if the band does something asinine).
7.) Any album not featured here or in the podcast can EASILY still be featured in my top 100. I can’t hear every album and some will slip through the cracks now or even then. So I just need to hear an album and make assertions from there.
8.) These are done for YOU. So I hope you can discover some new music on my behalf and be shown that new music has never stopped being great. Just go discover it.
Now let’s begin!
Audrey Horne- Devil’s Bell
FFO- Hard Rock, Occult Rock
Audrey Horne has been going strong for 20 years now. With a fine tinge of rock and roll stylings, every album seems to have a new flavoring while still having its signature blend mixed together for a truly great musical experience. With Devil’s Bell, the band’s 7th album; the Norwegian supergroup collective adds a much darker tone to their style making something more akin to the likes of Blue Oyster Cult than Aerosmith. It’s a welcomed change in the band, but again, it sounds like the band hasn’t missed a step since 2005. It’s a great thing when you can take members of such prominent extreme metal bands and know that they know how to write fun, rocking songs as much as they can write blackened metal masterpieces. For those that just want an old-school rockin’ time, this album is meant for you. Go check it out!
Crown Compass- The Drought
FFO- Progressive Death Metal
This new group featuring ex-members of Textures, and Exvivious has brought a new level of progressive metal to the table. All 4 members of this Dutch group are extremely skilled at their respective crafts and they are on full display here. What makes it stand out amongst others doing modern prog metal these days is that they know how to write some unbelievably catchy choruses with melodies and harmonies that soar through the chaos. You can hear the remnants of their past bands in this album, but you can also hear all the new influences that they wanted to show off in recorded form. The music doesn’t djent The music doesn’t get brutal just for the sake of it, any breakdowns that happen have a purpose. The best part is the unexpected twists and turns you hear in the genre-bending shifts. This is truly a shining example of how to write progressive music that really feels like it can take the genre can keep moving it forward.
Destruction - Diabolical
FFO- Thrash Metal
Not only one of the best German thrash bands, but one of the best thrash bands period has returned and there feels to be a true shift in the musical force of the band. The life’s blood of the band has gained a new lineup since their 2019 release, Born to Perish and the band has a new fire that has been stoked. The band sounds angrier, thrashier, and more aggressive than they have in decades. The production on Diabolical is much rawer than previous material, but it matches the mood that is set up as soon as you hear that first riff strike down upon you. This is where the band needs to be in a still pandemic world. With what this lineup has pulled off here, I can’t wait to see what will be coming up on the band’s next release. It’s only going to go up from here.
Die Apokalyptischen Reiter - Wilde Kinder
FFO- Heavy Metal
This band is the definition of a heavy metal band. You can’t really put a real finger on what the band sounds like as every album has its own unique sound, let alone the songs on every album can be so varied, yet, fit together so well. With Wilde Kinder, the band has taken a darker approach and wanted to unleash a full-scale assault of symphonic, death, black, power, and classic metal. It’s so refreshing to hear a band that simply plays what they want to play no matter if it fits a particular genre or not. If anything, they are their own genre. You hear the band take more aggressive and fierce tendencies to match the mood of the world right now and all of us just want to break free from the darkness that has taken over all of us. With a band as prolific and varied as this band has been over the last 25+ years, the band shows absolutely no sense of slowing down and the chaos will only continue for years and years to come. Simply incredible work.
The Hellacopters- Eyes of Oblivion
FFO- Rock N’ Roll
The Hellacopters are back from the grave and they are just as much fun, stylish, tongue in cheek, and powerful as ever. A band that knows that they don’t need to be over the top technical, reinvent the wheel or change with the times. The Hellacopters simply know how to write catchy rock songs and for someone who spends most of their time with heavy music, this is one of the most refreshing albums I’ve come across in such a long time. Short, simple, catchy, and undeniably fun. There’s not really much more I can add to that. If you are looking for one of the strongest rock albums of the year and quite possibly the decade of the 2020s, look no further, you found it right here with Eyes of Oblivion.
FFO- Modern Progressive Death Metal
Meshuggah does what Meshuggah does and no one out-Meshuggah’s Meshuggah, ya dig? But seriously. This is the band after 30 years in the game. The band doesn’t need to outdo themselves anymore, they have no need to reinvent themselves into something new. They already write songs no one else can emulate. If you don’t really dig the band, this album will not change your mind. If you already like the band, this is more of what you will love. While this is far from a cookie-cutter album from the band, you can tell the band just wants to hone in on what makes their formula work so well and put in the right amount of twists and turns to make this a fun ride. This is also the band’s longest album, coming in at nearly 67 minutes. It’s a long, epic journey; but a rewarding one if you enjoy the pioneers of what has become of progressive death metal in the modern age.
My Useless Life- Bittersweet Agony
What a relatable band name, eh? No? Just me then? Alrighty! Anyways...The 4th album from this California blackgaze duo shows the band as heart-wrenching and somber as ever while having just the right amount of raw production and atmosphere. The music is some of the most melodic in the band’s career, but no less devastating. While this is listed as an EP on Spotify, coming in at just about 34 minutes; everywhere I’ve seen it listed counts it as a full album; as do I. The experience does go by fast, but it can hit you hard in its depressive tones and lyrics. For someone dealing with another dark, black wave of suicidal depression; this album came across me at the right time, and even when you just pay attention to what’s going on musically; it really hits home for me. It just may for you as well if you are feeling down and out. Proceed with caution like any other DSBM band, but it is up to your alley, it’s one hell of a ride.
Poets of the Fall- Ghostlight
FFO- Symphonic Rock, Cinematic Rock, Alternative Rock
Poets of the Fall might be the softest band I have on the list this month, but they really know how to write some heavy songs in the lyrical and atmospheric sense. The band continues to rise in popularity with every release and now that they are 9 albums into their career; they have established themselves as one of the best at their stylings. They are absolute masters at writing catchy rock songs that have such heartfelt cinematic feelings and emotions. Ghostlight is some of the band’s lightest work overall, but that’s what makes it stand out from the rest of their catalog. It’s a true album where you just want to listen from start to finish and enjoy every ebb and flow as it passes through you. You will be hard-pressed to find an album (or band for that matter) that can hit you with such heartfelt emotion with every song after song. Sheer, unadulterated, brilliance.
FFO- Industrial, Heavy Metal
I am actually writing this up after I saw the Rammstein Zeit Atmos Experience at my local movie theater (only one of two movie theaters in the state to show it) and it made me fall in love with every track on the album; while I won’t ruin the visual experience just in case they release it in some other way down the road; this is easily the best Rammstein album in years. And even with only 8 albums in their catalog, that is some worthy praise. The album is full of diverse songs whether you want songs about death, becoming antisocial, no longer using condoms, or big boobies; Rammstein has a way to make an album that is as funny as it is heartfelt. No one can do it like these guys and even with Zeit being written to make up for 2 years' unplayable tours (maybe it’ll actually happen this year?) they took that frustration to make an album that will stand the test of time. What a rock-solid album.
Undeath- It’s Time...To Rise From Your Grave
FFO- Old School Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Grindcore
The amount of praise and reception I have seen about this band over the last couple of months is staggering. With this only being the band’s sophomore album, they have garnered the attention of not only the biggest music sites and magazines, but some of the biggest metal bands out there today. The band has an undeniable love of old-school death metal and grindcore with just the right amount of melodic undertones and the occasional brutal breakdown to make it just modernized enough so you will be satisfied where you think there are no good death metal bands anymore or not. The production is raw and unpolished, yet it sounds like it was the perfect album for 1993 as they were to open for Carcass or Entombed. These guys know their back catalogs of extreme metal and they are not afraid to wear their inspirations on their sleeves. As pointed out in this list already; you don’t need to always reinvent the wheel, you just gotta be solid and write great songs. Undeath does that and more in strides. I know this will be a lot of people’s favorite death metal album of the year and it’s easy to understand why. This has something for everyone and they could easily hop on any extreme metal tour and blow the crowd away. This is death metal done right. It only takes one listen to understand why.
And there you go folks, my top 10 favorite albums of April 2022. While I’m sure I missed out on some other great albums to come out this month, I’m just happy I could even write this list at all. If I’m still feeling like this now; I really don’t see May 2022 letting up on me for my mental state. But thankfully there is a ton of great albums coming out next month that I can’t wait to check out and show off to all of you. So tune in next time for the Top 10 Albums of May 2022!
- Josh Rundquist (Heavy Debriefings)